New Orleans Shrimp and Grits Recipe

New Orleans Shrimp and Grits Recipe
Prep. time:
40 min
4 dishes
not kosher

Today we have something special for you’ll:

The Ultimate New Orleans Shrimp and Grits Recipe That Will Transport You Straight to the Bayou!

Get ready to dive into a bowl of pure Southern comfort with our mouthwatering New Orleans-style shrimp and grits. This iconic dish is a staple in the Big Easy, known for its rich, creamy grits and succulent shrimp smothered in a spicy, flavorful sauce. With just one bite, you’ll feel like you’re sitting on a balcony overlooking Bourbon Street, listening to the sounds of jazz wafting through the air.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes. Serves 4. Difficulty: Easy.

  • Cooking the grits: 15-20 minutes
  • Peeling and deveining shrimp: 10 minutes
  • Making the sauce and cooking shrimp: 10 minutes

Must-Have Ingredients for Authentic New Orleans Shrimp and Grits

To recreate the authentic flavors of this classic dish, you’ll need a handful of essential ingredients. Don’t worry, most of these can be found at your local grocery store!

  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup stone-ground grits (not instant)
  • 4 cups water or chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

For a gluten-free version, simply substitute the all-purpose flour with your favorite gluten-free flour blend or cornstarch. And if you’re a fan of extra heat, feel free to add more cayenne or even a dash of your favorite hot sauce!

Step-by-Step Instructions for Perfect Shrimp and Grits Every Time

Now that you have your ingredients ready, it’s time to get cooking! Follow these easy steps to create a restaurant-worthy dish in the comfort of your own home.

  1. In a large saucepan, bring the water or chicken stock to a boil. Slowly whisk in the grits and reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring frequently, until the grits are thick and creamy, about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Stir in the heavy cream, cheddar cheese, and 2 tablespoons of butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm.
  3. In a large skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle in the cayenne, smoked paprika, and flour. Stir to combine and cook for 1-2 minutes to remove the raw flour taste.
  5. Gradually whisk in the chicken stock, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Simmer until thickened, about 3-5 minutes.
  6. Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook until pink and opaque, about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Divide the warm grits among 4 bowls and top with the shrimp and sauce. Garnish with chopped green onions and serve immediately.

Pro tip: for an extra layer of flavor, try cooking the shrimp in bacon grease instead of butter. The smoky, salty goodness pairs perfectly with the spicy sauce!

Health Benefits of Shrimp and Grits

Not only is this dish incredibly satisfying, but it also offers a variety of nutritional benefits. Here are just a few reasons to feel good about indulging:

  • Shrimp is an excellent source of lean protein, which helps build and repair tissues
  • Grits provide complex carbohydrates for sustained energy throughout the day
  • The vegetables in the sauce offer vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C and potassium
  • Using chicken stock instead of water adds depth of flavor and a boost of protein and collagen

Want to take your shrimp and grits to the next level? Try these delicious variations:

  • Add diced andouille sausage or bacon to the sauce for a meaty, smoky flavor
  • Swap out the cheddar cheese for smoked gouda or sharp white cheddar
  • Stir in some baby spinach or kale during the last few minutes of cooking for added nutrients
  • Top with a fried egg for a decadent brunch-inspired twist

Frequently Asked Shrimp and Grits Questions

Can I use quick grits instead of stone-ground? While quick grits will work in a pinch, stone-ground grits offer a superior texture and flavor. They take a bit longer to cook but are well worth the extra time. If you do use quick grits, follow the package instructions for cooking times.

How do I know when the shrimp is fully cooked? Shrimp cooks very quickly, so keep a close eye on it. You’ll know it’s done when it turns from translucent gray to opaque pink and curls into a “C” shape. Overcooked shrimp will be tough and rubbery, so err on the side of undercooking if you’re unsure.

Can I make this recipe ahead of time? While shrimp and grits are best served immediately, you can make the grits ahead of time and reheat them with a splash of milk or cream. The sauce can also be made in advance and reheated, but wait to cook the shrimp until just before serving.

What can I serve with shrimp and grits? This dish is fairly rich and filling on its own, but a simple side of sautéed greens or a light salad would be a nice complement. A slice of crusty bread is also great for sopping up any extra sauce.

How can I adjust the spice level? The amount of cayenne pepper in the recipe is a good starting point for a mild to medium heat level. If you prefer more spice, add extra cayenne or a dash of hot sauce. For a milder version, reduce or omit the cayenne altogether.

I still remember the first time I tried shrimp and grits on a trip to New Orleans. It was love at first bite! The creamy, comforting grits paired with the spicy, succulent shrimp was a revelation. I knew I had to recreate this dish at home.

Over the years, I’ve tweaked and perfected my recipe, and it’s become a family favorite. My kids request it for special occasions, and it’s always a hit at dinner parties. There’s just something about the combination of flavors and textures that feels like a warm hug from the South.

So go ahead, give this recipe a try and transport yourself to the heart of New Orleans with every spoonful. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you!

If you make this dish, be sure to snap a photo and share it on social media with the hashtag #nolashrimpandgrits. We’d love to see your creations and hear about your experience!

Happy cooking, y’all!

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